The NOAA Hurricane Hunters: A Historical and Mission Perspective


  • Jennifer Collins Florida Atlantic University
  • Paul Flaherty NOAA Aircraft Operations Center


The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Hurricane Hunters protect lives and property by using increasingly-sophisticated instrumentation to collect atmospheric data in and around the hurricane environment. This article describes why the NOAA Hurricane Hunters fly into severe weather, along with their day-to-day responsibilities when not flying into storms. In addition, this article highlights NOAA's entire fleet of aircraft, focusing on the two main platforms used by the Hurricane Hunter crews. With an emphasis on instrumentation and primary missions, ways in which the collected data is used by researchers and forecasters is discussed.